After watching the bullpen give up 18 earned runs in their last 10.2 innings pitched, Matt Klentak has finally decided that it’s time to make a change. On Tuesday, the Phillies called up Connor Brogdon and Blake Parker from Lehigh Valley to try and bring some stability to a bullpen that has lacked it for almost 2 years. In corresponding moves, they sent Nick Pivetta to the satellite camp in Lehigh Valley and designated RHP Trevor Kelley and OF Nick Williams for assignment.
According to Jayson Stark, the Phillies bullpen has an ERA of 10.66 when leading a game. That’s higher than any other team’s bullpen ERA when TRAILING. The bullpen has pitched 12.2 innings with the lead to absolutely pathetic results: 23 hit, 15 earned runs, and allowing a staggering 5 HRs.
Clearly, a change needed to be made. I am just surprised it took this long.
Blake Parker fits the mold of what is currently in the bullpen: a 30-something year old journeyman who’s been in and out of the league his entire career. While Parker put up some really impressive numbers going back to his time with the Angels, consistency has always been an issue. While I can understand why you bring him up, I don’t agree with it. If you were going to add someone to the 40 man roster, a young kind like Zack Warren or Damon Jones makes much more sense. Especially with the coming roster crunch this offseason.
Connor Brogdon, on the other hand, will be making his Major League debut after barely missing the team out of summer workouts. The Phillies have recently done really well in developing young relievers, though most of them haven’t seen the Big League roster. Brogdon, a 10th round pick out of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID, is a tall and lanky righthander who has really developed into a potential late inning reliever.
Armed with a 93-96 mph fastball and a lights out changeup, Brogdon has made huge strides since college. After starting and relieving in 2018, he made the full time switch to the bullpen in 2019, and hasn’t looked back. Brogdon isn’t overpowering, but his plus control will allow his pitches to play up. While he probably isn’t good enough to be a dominate closer, he will at least be a very good 7th/8th inning guy.
Joe Girardi said, “You dont try to give him too much too early,” so I don’t expect to see him out of the gate a lot.
However, when your first option to bring into a 10th inning with a man on second is Deolis Guerra, I don’t think you can afford to be cautious with someone who is already one of your better relievers on the roster.
And he hasn’t even pitched a single pitch in the MLB…..
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